The Pac-12 Conference waited nine years for this moment. The Pac-12 had not won a College Football Playoff semifinal since New Year’s Day of 2015, when the Oregon Ducks defeated the Florida State Seminoles in the 2015 Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The last Pac-12 team to even play in a College Football Playoff semifinal was Washington in the 2016 season. The Huskies lost the 2016 Peach Bowl semifinal to the Alabama Crimson Tide in Atlanta. No Pac-12 team made a playoff semifinal until Washington returned to the playoff in the 2024 Sugar Bowl semifinal game against the Texas Longhorns.
The Huskies were able to get the job done in a crazy 37-31 victory. The nine-year drought for the Pac-12 is over. A Pac-12 team will once again get a chance to compete for the national championship. This will be the Pac-12’s first national title game appearance since Oregon faced Ohio State in January of 2015.
There’s another wild detail to be found in here: The Pac-12 won the first four-team playoff semifinal in history. That Oregon-Florida State game was the first-ever College Football Playoff game. Washington-Texas was the 20th and last semifinal in the four-team playoff era, given that next year’s semifinals will be part of a 12-team playoff.